Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Christmas Cakes

I made these cakes about six weeks ago and they are presently in their sherry-soaked cheesecloth blankies in tins in the garage.  I must bring them in today for a little top-up of Harvey's Bristol Cream.  

The recipe is my grandmother's and whenever I make it I return to childhood memories of the tasks I was charged with.  First of all, I would chop the fruit.  The cherries had to be halved and the pineapple cut into chunks.  The candied peel came already chopped ~

Mixed up in a large bowl with currants and raisins, soaked with sherry and allowed to soak overnight ~

Add in the nuts, eggs and flour mixture ~

My next job was to line the pans.  Mum taught me how to carefully cut the parchment paper (which in those days was brown) so that it fit the pans.  I loved this part ~

 The mixture is so stiff you have to get in there with your hands to get every piece of fruit and nut coated ~

Then into the oven for a long slow bake ~

And, voila ~

Once they were cooled, my next job was to soak the cheesecloth in brandy or sherry (I used sherry this year) and wrap up the cakes ~

The tins I store them in must be at least 50 years old, passed from my grandmother to my mum to me ~


kate said...

What a wonderful post! How lucky you are to have the memories of this tradition.

I love Christmas Cake, but no one else in the house does.

Oiyi said...

This is so amazing! What a great tradition. Your parchment cutting is so precise.

Anonymous said...

Guess it is a bit too early to have a wee taste! I made my cakes last evening, but they are not as fruit filled as yours, Julie. I am the big fan of Christmas cakes in this home, and they have yet to have their coats of sherry or rum!
Thanks for the visit today. I will definitely get that pattern for the little dress. My great great niece would love it next year for her birthday. She will be two, so the size two would probably be perfect. Hope you and Riley have a fun day tomorrow.
Thanks, again. Peg PS Nice to meet Mick, too. You have a wonderful spot and I wish I had as many feathered visitors as you do!

lapdogknits said...

Very special....I bet they will taste as wonderful as the time and love you've put into them...Happy Holiday season!